Saturday, February 23, 2013

R.I.P. I Just Killed My Workout!!

So I am in no way a fitness guru BUT I will say that I am kinda starting to get the hang of this workout thing. I have always DREADED working out because to me that meant running on a boring treadmill for an hour. The thing that has helped me through this new lifestyle change is realizing that exercise and fitness can mean participating in alot of cool activities.

One of my favorite new activities has been hiking and exploring the many trails in LA and the IE. I had no idea there were so many cool ones with AMAZING views! 

The cool things about trails and natural workouts is the varying elevations and changes in terrain. The weather has been really nice this week which has made working out during the day even more enjoyable.

Definitely be careful if this is your first time exercising outdoors as I've had a few monumental falls and got my first battle wound after tripping on a rock and diving face first down a hill. (Don't laugh that's not funny!) Ok maybe it was a little funny but at the time I was uber embarassed. Not to mention the fact that I ripped a hole in my brand new Nike workout pants. Total FAIL!

This week I have been lucky enough to have AWESOME friends who have gone with me to workout! It's so much more fun when you have someone with you to keep you focused and motivated. Right when you start to get tired or think you can't do soemthing the other person is there to push you to your limit.

During my 5 mile hike at the Claremont Loop I got half way through and started to feel super tired. If it wasn't for the fact that I had a friend with me keeping me motivated throughout I may not have finished. I think it's a good idea to bring people with you when you are tackling new challenges. The support of others is key when you are changing your lifestyle!

Generally I try to mix up my work outs so half the week I am outside and the other half of the week I hit the gym. This way I don't get bored and work out different muscle groups along the way.

So this is the first week I decided to tackle weight training. Before I was purely focused on doing cardio but then I realized that I wasn't getting a good all around work out. So once again I enlisted the assistance of one of my friends to tackle the weight section at 24 Hour Fitness. Now for some people this area is easy and fun. For me it is super intimidating. To many machines I don't know how to work, weight's I can't lift and buff people that I'm sure are wondering "what the heck is this chick doing here?" BUT, like I said I put all of these fears aside and had my first official "leg day" where the majority of my workout was focused on working out my legs.

(That's me squatting 95lbs!) I was SO proud of myself after completing my first leg day, and boy was I sore!!! The soreness actually felt good though because it made me realize that I actually did something! I am now going to try to incorporate a "leg day" and an "arm day" atleast twice a week along with my cardio workout. If anyone has any suggestions for good core and ab workouts I would love some ideas! Post below and leave your comments. Happy working out and have a great week everyone!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

When I Die Bury Me Inside the Nike Store!

So everyone that knows me know that I LOVE fashion. Before this working out stuff my hobby was definitely shopping. So now that I workout 5x a week I had to make sure I had a BOMB workout wardrobe to go along with my new love for fitness! I am a firm believer that just because you work out doesnt mean you have to look frumpy while you do it. At the same time I dont think you need to have matching shirts, shoes, and socks EITHER. There's a fine line between "Fashionably Fit" and "Trying to Hard". I lean more towards the "Fashionably Fit" side. Below is a mix of things I have bought, or plan on buying! 

So I admit it, I am a bit of a Nike whore. I love Nike! It symbolizes fitness, and strength to me and who wouldnt want that!? My only problem with Nike is that it is SUPER expensive. To avoid this I try to purchase items from the Nike Outlet, Marshalls, and Ross. (Who surprisingly have a good selection of Nike stuff for the low if you catch it at the right time)

My second favorite place to shop for fitness stuff is Forever 21! Their stuff is generally pretty plain BUT its good quality and a great buy for the price. I have seen some really cute jackets, pants, and hoodies that I hope to buy! ;)

My third favorite place to snag fashionable fitness gear is none other then Target! They are a tad bit expensive, but I like alot of their items and if you find something good on the clearance rack its an even better score! So now for the items I've recently purchased.....

So my hip new Nike shirt was $25.99 and from Lady Foot Locker. The shoes are Nike Free Fit 2's and also from Lady Footlocker. (By the way these are the MOST AMAZING and comfortable gym shoes I have EVER owned. I recommend them for anyone who has a hard time finding comfortable sneakers)

My most recent purchase was the cute little red Nike zip up sweatshirt ($65.99) from Lady Foot Locker and my Nike Dry Fit work out capris from Marshalls were a steal at $19.99! I am always looking for new reasonable places to find clothes get keep me fashionably fit! Where do you find your workout gear???

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Started from the bottom now I'm here!

Hard to believe its already been 6 weeks since I started this healthy lifestyle journey! I have lost 18lbs and honestly feel great! Im not at my goal yet but it feels great to finally start to notice some progress! My clothes are looser, my appetite is smaller, and the amount of exercise I can do has definitely increased. I'm not at the top yet, but atleast I'm no longer at the bottom!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Little wall, big dreams....

I have always been a visual person. I need to see what I'm working for in order to be inspired. So while laying in bed one morning staring at the wall I decided to do some redecorating! This whole fitness/health thing is really important to me and I want to make sure I stay focused on this journey so I decided to make a Fitspiration wall! Filled with pictures, quotes, and my own little weight tracking grid so I can keep tabs on my progress. I have to say it turned out pretty well! Peep the before and after below! (I plan on wearing the bikini this summer!) lol....

And after....

So now whenever I look at my wall I remember what I'm working towards! :)

All Healthy Everything!

So I get in moods where I just feel like baking...and today just so happened to be one of those days! However, since I've started this quest for a healthier lifestyle I wasn't about to ruin it by making a red velvet cake (even though I make a pretty bomb one). So I decided to make a healthier version of banana bread! I combined several different recipes so feel free to tweak it how you see fit. I think next time I my add a little more honey and cinnamon to make it a tad bit sweeter. I may also try to add applesauce as that would also add some extra sweetness. All in all it turned out good and I would make them again! Be prepared though, since the recipe calls for coconut flour the consistency is different then if it were made with regular flour. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

3/4 cup mashed banana (make sure it is very ripe)
4 eggs
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup almond milk or coconut milk
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 a Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Optional items I added:
1/2 cup whole oats
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Step 1. Mash your bananas!

2. Combine all wet ingredients (Eggs, vanilla extract, almond milk, banana's, etc) Stir! 
**Be aware, once you add the coconut oil it starts to get hard again so work fast!

3. Add all other ingredients....(As you can see from the picture below I just added everything together at once and then stirred it. I really dont think it matters whether you do this or not).

4. Once all of your ingredients are mixed and ready to go spray your pan or muffin tin with non stick cooking spray and evenly distribute the mixture. (3/4 full if using muffin tin pan)

5. Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Keep an eye on them because its easy to overcook. Once they are done let them cool and enjoy! Store the remainder in the refrigerator as they tend to spoil easily at room temperature. You have now made a healthier version of banana bread/muffins! 

*The recipe is pretty good! A great alternative to regular banana bread. I will definitely be enjoying mine this week! :) Hope you do as well!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I love food, that's my problem!

So I admit it....I have a problem......I have a food addiction! I love food. When I'm depressed, I eat.....When I'm happy I eat, when I'm mad, I eat! Basically food is a reward as well as a comfort for me. 

This wasn't a problem in high school because I had a fast metabolism. But once college started that all went down the drain! Suddenly I couldn't maintain a diet of french fries, burgers, chicken wings, and nachos without the pounds coming along with it. In January I finally realized that I had to make a change...
I'm not gonna lie, I STILL love food. BUT I had to come up with ways to still enjoy it without letting it rule my life! First I had to figure out what was so appealing about the greasy fattening foods I consumed on a daily basis. For me, a busy working woman, the convenience was the first thing that always caused me to resort to a drive thru for my meals. I never seemed to have time to cook a healthy and balanced meal. Second, was taste. I have always thought healthy food was just plain nasty. Who would want to eat a yogurt for breakfast when you can have a Egg Mcmuffin sandwhich? lol...Lastly was cost. It seemed alot cheaper to hit up the Mcdonalds $1 menu instead of spending cash at the grocery store. So I started thinking of ways I could simplify my meals, and make healthy food taste good.

Which leads me to my weekly meal prep! Every sunday night I prepare my meals for the whole week. (Lunch and dinner) That way I have no excuse as to why I don't have time to have a healthy meal. Second, I started to find a creative way to make the foods I like without all of the extra calories. For example: I love hamburgers! So instead I decided to make a grilled turkey burger with veggies as a side. I also LOVE potatoes. So I decided to make a small lean flank steak, brussel sprouts, and mashed cauliflower. (Its no mashed potatoes BUT it comes pretty close when you have a craving) Lastly, when I started doing my meal prep and cut out my weekly trips to the drive thru I began to realize how much money I had left over. Going to the store and buying a weeks supply of veggies is much cheaper then hitting Mcdonalds every day.

My meals for the day generally go as follows:
Breakfast- Protein shake with fruit and veggies
Lunch-Lean meat/veggies
Snack-trail mix/nuts
Dinner-lean meat/veggies
After workout snack-apples with almond butter

I'm by no means an expert. But what I've learned from this journey is that you have to find something that works for you. So far this works for me! So I am sticking with it. It's actually become a fun challenge for me to come up with ways to remake my favorite foods in a healthier way. You should try it! Good luck, and happy eating folks!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Welcome to my page

So I decided to start this blog after one of my friends suggested that I document my fitness journey! Up until college I was SUPER skinny. At 5'6 my smallest weight was 107. As you can see from the pic below. 

Of course that didn't last long! Before I knew it the late night food runs to Alberto's, Jack in the Box, and Denny's began to catch up to me. At my largest I reached 190lbs. (Ugh, it hurts me to even type that number) I was in denial for a long time that I was getting larger. And when I finally came to terms with it it had gotten completely out of control.

So now, with a Bachelors AND Masters degree under my belt, I have FINALLY decided to get in control of my weight. I realized that over the years I have definitely not been treating my body right. I have been eating tons of junk, not exercising, and expecting to be skinny which is super unrealistic! I have tried every diet you can imagine! (The lemonade diet, cabbage soup diet, herbalife, weight watchers, and atkins, yet nothing seemed to work for me) So with that being said, last month I began my journey to living a healthier lifestyle! I now exercise 5 times a week, and eat a healthy combination of fruits, veggies, and protein. Within the first 4 weeks I lost 15lbs (Yeah me!) and am now down to 172lbs. My goal is 135lbs! I have a long ways to go so I figured why not document my feelings, adventures, and experiences along the way by making a blog! I hope to be bikini ready for the summer! So stay tuned for my posts as I wander through this journey of getting fit, losing weight, and getting in shape! Carbs DEFINITELY won't be killin my vibe this time around!